When it comes to shoulder fitness, whether you are building for strength or function, this area needs extra care. Our move today is an alternating upright row. The focus is the whole shoulder area and upper back. You will need a set of light to medium hand weights for this move or you can improvise with water bottles, weighing in at about 1 pound.
Begin this exercise with your weights in each hand and standing. Hold your chest tall, engage your core with both arms extended down in front of your body, palms facing your thighs. Roll your shoulders back and down; you are ready to start rowing.
Proceed to pull one arm straight up your body, pushing the elbow to the outside, aiming for chest/collarbone level with your hand weight. Once you reach your highest point, slowly return the weight back to starting position at thigh level. Then begin to pull your other arm up in the same fashion. Continue this alternating row for at least 10 repetitions on each arm.
Take a small break and evaluate your next set, either increasing or decreasing your weight or using no weight at all. Depending on the condition and strength of your shoulder area, shoot for at least three sets. Keep your arms slightly in front of you, controlling the movement and not overextending your shoulders.
This rowing motion is great for all levels, keeping the movement slow and methodic. Listen to your body, if you need, take a break and re-evaluate your position and try it again with either lighter or no weight at all.
— Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA, in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at faluvzpa@msn.